IDE only runs as root on Ubuntu 12.04

Haven't done any Arduino programming in a while, and have since upgraded from Ubuntu 10.04 to 12.04. I couldn't get the IDE to run at all.

I tried every combination of:

IDE 1.0 (from the Ubuntu repository), 1.0.3, 1.0.5, 1.5.8, and 1.6.4
Oracle Java 6 and 7

Until I got to 1.6.4, I never even saw a splash screen. Occasionally, I would get a message from Kcrash saying the app had crashed. Once, I got a bizarre exception saying it failed to read rt.jar while doing what appeared to be an RDNS lookup (though it's not at all clear why an IDE would be trying to access the internet. Shades of Microsoft :angry: ). But mostly, it just silently failed.

I came across one post about serial port permission problems. Even though I knew from using other serial devices that it should be fine (my username has been in the dialout group since day 1), I decided to run the IDE as root, just in case. And it worked.

I've confirmed that it's not a serial permissions problem by chmod'ing /dev/ttyUSB0 to 0666.

So that means there's something else that the IDE is doing that requires root privileges, and there's not a clue in the console output or dmesg as to what it might be.

Since I do real work on my main machine, it's not acceptable to run the IDE as root. Is there some configuration setting I haven't found that will let it run it as an ordinary user? Or do I need to set up an "arduino programmer" PC?



Well, it's been almost 2 years, I'm now up to Ubuntu 16.04 and Arduino 1.8.1, and it still runs only as root.

Is there any chance this will ever be fixed?

I haven't heard other people reporting the same issue, so I suspect there's a system/configuration issue here.